Tag Archives: magic and kissing

Review: Destined by Aprilynne Pike

Basically this review should be a video of me doing a fangirl flail, but I don’t feel like putting on make up, so just picture a big pink Kermit flail of joy. That would be me.

I’m going to post most of this review after a Spoiler!Cut, so if you’ve read it and want to chat, please go there and comment, because I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS. It’s really hard to put my reaction to this book into spoiler-free words; basically it was happy happy crack and I am happy. Also 😀 Seriously, I still grin so hard my face wants to fall off when I think about it.

I’ve been waiting for Destined for so long. I read Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series last year, under the impression that it was a trilogy, only to reach the end of Illusions and freak out because talk about your cliff hanger.

Short spoiler-free version: Fans of the series should be satisfied with this conclusion. It ties up loose ends and everyone gets some closure. It’s also super-intense and stressful from the constant danger our heroes find themselves in. Chelsea especially continued to knock my socks off, with her determination to help. It was awesome and I feel happy with it as a ending.

SPOILERS BELOW. BIG ONES. Proceed with caution. (Spoilers probably in the comments, too, but if you’ve read it, let’s discuss. What your feelings and thoughts?)

Continue reading


Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

You know novels that do an updated-take of a fairy tale? Sarah Cross’ Kill Me Softly is like an updated take on fairy tales, period. All of them. They aren’t old stories, but old curses that are repeatedly bestowed upon the descendents of fairy-human hybrids.

Mira is about to turn 16. Her strict godmothers have rules about everything, but the one she needs to break is their ban on her visiting her hometown, Beau Rivage, where her parents died in a fire when she was just a baby. So one night she runs away. There, she encounters a world of enchantments, curses, and teenagers like herself with mysterious marks. Vivian, the pale girl with the wicked stepmother and a thing for apples, for example. And Blue Valentine, who tries to chase her out of town before she meets his brother, Felix.

It’s a very different take on fairy tales, where the same stories are relived over and over by different generations, sometimes updated as time passes (for example, sleeping beauty won’t be cursed to prick herself on a spindle since those aren’t really around anymore; more likely it’ll be a safety pin or a knife). The mysteries and the reveal of this world which exists in a resort tourist town and goes largely unnoticed by “outsiders” is well done. It keeps you reading and curious.

The cast is great fun and well-thought out. I especially love Layla, who’s destined to be Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, and will have to reform the partying playboy Rafe after his transformation. (She threatens to stab him, but her friends know she’ll come through for him in the end.)

Then there’s Blue, whose hair and even eyelashes are bright blue, and he wears dark clothes and has piercings. Guess which team I’m on. Go on, guess.

Blue’s curse is heartbreaking even though it’s painfully obvious what it is from the get go. Usually when it takes the protagonist so long to catch up and get with it, I get annoyed, but Mira didn’t drive me bonkers. Sure, her doe-eyed apologist love for Felix got irritating, but it was believable. We’ve all had friends in relationships where they weren’t able to see the truth that was clear to everyone else. And Blue is easily the best anti-hero I’ve read recently. I kind of adore him.

Recommended for: Fans of Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series and other such paranormal romance will dig this. Also it’s very funny–Viv (our Snow White) is hilarious.

Audiobook Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

I don’t tend to like to shape-shifters*. I don’t know why, it just doesn’t scratch my itch, you know? Werewolves? Eh. Can take ’em or leave ’em, but I don’t care for the “pack mentality” that often happens. However, my knowledge of dragons is based on medieval stuff and the Slayers anime, and let’s face it, I love Filla to pieces.

So let’s talk about dragons–err… draki, which are the evolutionary descendants of dragons in Sophie Jordan’s Firelight. Draki live alone in sucluded and hidden villages in misty, forested mountains. They live in groups called “prides” (like lions). Our protagonist is Jacinda, her pride’s only fire-breather in hundreds of years. But her twin sister, Tamra, never “manifests” (turns into draki form).

Jacinda is fond of sneaking out and flying during the day, which is against the rules because someone might see them. Someone does, and naturally it’s a pack of draki-hunters. Miracle of miracles, one of them is a handsome boy her age who saves her ass by leading the others away from her. Though she survived, the stunt makes her mother decide it’s too dangerous in the pride. She packs them up and moves them to a small desert city that very night.

In the new city, of course the hunter boy, Will, is in her class at school. Of course he is. Which is fine. Coincidences happen, I can accept that. Jacinda falls madly in love him, almost on sight, because something about him draws her to him, and she knows he’s different. That’s what romance in high school is like, really, so points for that. Her sister Tamra is thrilled to be away from the pride since she was always an outcast, as is their mother who only remained for her (now dead) husband. Jacinda hates it, except for the part about being near Will. Who is from a family of hunters that will kill her and wallpaper their house with her skin if they find out.

This book is 1 part Star-Crossed Lovers, 1 Part Teen Angst At Mom, 1 Part Magic and Kissing, with a fair amount of teen angst just because she is a teen, a lot of whining, pining, and indecision. I enjoyed it (thanks in part to the narration by Therese Plummer, who did a fantastic job) but I have a lot of confusing ~feelings~. Much like Jacinda.

Continue reading

Review: Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Wings by Aprilynne Pike is the kind of book you pick up for its pretty cover and end up engulfed in its magic.

Laurel is a slightly odd teenage girl. She’s adopted and was home-schooled until her parents decided she needed to attend a real high school in her sophomore year. She’s a vegan by necessity (she can’t eat anything but fruits and veggies)–and, kudos, she’s not a snot about it! Yay for portraying vegans as normal people who just want to eat differently rather than someone preachy. (I’m not a vegan and never will be because I need cheese to live, but I have nothing against it so long as no one sneers when I eat a plate of nachos.) She’s also pale and never gets cold. But hey, what teenager isn’t a little different?

She quickly makes friends in school, including the charming science-loving sarcastic boy David, and things seem okay. Until a bump on her back starts growing. She convinces herself it’s cancer and she’s dying but instead, she sprouts a giant flower that looks like wings. Surprise! She’s a faerie. Over on her parents’ old land, she meets Tamani, a handsome and alluring faerie her own age who’s been in charge of guarding both her and the land for years. He’s been in a panic since Laurel’s family moved and he “lost her,” and is relieved to see her. She doesn’t know who he is but, she’s very aware that he’s a man. HE SMOULDERS ON THE PAGE.

I need to point out right now that I’m a Tamani fan girl, completely. I don’t often swoon over boys in books, but Tamani got me. He’s a super hot confident faerie boy and he manages to be the bad boy while obeying the rules. It’s weird. And awesome.

You can forgive that it’s blurbed by Stephenie Meyer because it’s so clear Wings is everything she wanted to Twilight to be but couldn’t manage. It’s a whimsical, modern day faerie tale (literally) about a high school girl who finds herself surrounded by enchantment. Furthermore, I’m seriously invested in Laurel’s love triangle. David is the sweet, funny, smart guy and Tamani is the enthralling mysterious one. And while Tamani has, by plot necessity, has done some Edward-esque stalking, he feels bad about watching her in secret and is relieved she knows the truth so he can just be with her in the open. (And he never snuck into her room to watch her sleep.) Likewise, David makes his feelings clear but isn’t forceful. He’s happy to be her friend if that’s what she wants, and Laurel doesn’t string him along in false hope.

There is also plot besides “which guy will she choose?”. There’s “what is the science behind faeries?” (Seriously. David and his microscope investigate Laurel’s “condition” WITH SCIENCE. And it makes sense. Biology and magic, for the win!) Also, Laurel was given to her parents to inherit their land that holds a Gate to Faerie, and she needs to prevent them from selling it to a very strange and cruel man. It’s a wholly unique take on old faerie lore with, as Pike herself put it, “magic and kissing.”

Recommended if: You like paranormal romance with actual tension, a little bit of mystery, and some action. And kissing.